And for the third time running, I find myself in a tent, on a mat, covered in masquito bites, nine months pregnant, counting down the minutes until morning and listening to everyone else snore.
It's not that I don't love camping. I do. My friends think I'm nuts, but there is something so magical, so peaceful, about the campfire after dinner, when the kids are sleeping, sharing thoughts with people that you can barely see, the sky a canopy of stars overhead. And when the kids are up, seeing them so excited as the tent goes up, licking gooey marshmellow from their fingers, playing in the dirt, at peace with the elements in a way that is so natural to them, I love that. I do.
I just don't see why I have to always do it two weeks before my due date, ya know?
We were laughing about it, Outdoorsman and I, about the last minute panic that sets in right before the baby comes. Oh, no, this is it. We will never be able to do anything like this again. This is our very last chance.
So we rent a car and read up on how to deliver a baby yourself in a rustic setting, pack up the BBQ and the sleeping bags and the kids and go.
Naturally, I don't get much sleep.
Why do we do this, this freaking out and running to get in our last licks? I guess we live in the moment, for the most part. We're shortsighted. It's hard to see when you are living in the minutes, that we also live in years. We will go camping again. We will sleep again. Labor won't last forever. Neither will this nice walk we are taking together.
This morning, Coco-pop popped a water balloon all over my skirt. We laughed, Outdoorsman said I told you so, and then got ready for gan. Five minutes later, with her little packpack on her back, she said, "Remember when I popped the balloon all over you, Ima?"
Yes, I remember, love. It happened five minutes ago. A lifetime ago, I guess, to someone on this earth for just under 3 years so far.
But why do I laugh at her? Look at me, last night, pounding the wall in frustration because of a mosquito that kept strafing me. The mosquito will eventually stop ringing in my ear, so why does it make me so angry, so put upon? The house will be clean. I will get dinner on the table. I will not be pregnant forever.
The question is, does this idea of impermanence comfort me--or scare the heck out of me?
A lot of bit of both.
The new baby will come, with G-d's help. And then the new baby will not be a new baby forever. Soon he will he licking his fingers clean of gooey marshmellow and playing in the dirt outside of our tent. Soon he will look up and see the canopy of stars and stare in wonder, comfortable in the elements.